December 2016 Issue - page 10

Page 10
December 2016
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
By Amy Worden
On a Saturday evening last
month four mares—two paints,
a quarter horse and a Tennessee
Walker—quietly munched hay
in a comfortable barn in Hon-
ey Brook, PA. They were still
wearing the yellow auction tags
slapped on their backs.
Had it not been for the
horrific wreck they survived in
Tennessee a few weeks earlier
they would likely have been on a
dinner plate in France.
The mares were among 21
surviving horses pulled from a
high-speed crash that left dead
and injured horses scattered on
Interstate 40 outside of Knoxville
after a tractor trailer carrying 31
horses bound for slaughter in
Canada smashed into the back of
a flatbed truck as it tried to merge
into traffic.
When first responder and
veteran horsewoman Amy Neary
arrived at the scene of the wreck
around 9 p.m., Oct. 23 she was
stunned at the scale of the disas-
ter.
A 911 dispatcher who also
does emergency horse hauling
and competes her Morgans in
combined driving events, Neary
had brought a four-horse trailer to
the scene, thinking the accident
involved a few horses in a small
trailer.
But there in front of her
were the remains of a huge
livestock rig, carrying hors-
es purchased a day earlier by
Pennsylvania dealer Bruce Rotz
from Knoxville’s twice-monthly
horse auction. Several horses
were ejected from the wreck,
their bodies strewn among the
crushed metal.
Neary’s eyes landed on a
dead horse in the road, another
was caught under the back wheels
and yet a third had crawled out of
the mash of metal and was stand-
ing on the flat bed of the other
truck, perched five feet above the
ground.
She clambered on the flatbed
to try to figure out how to get the
stranded paint mare down. “We
had to bring in another truck with
a bed that lowered, pulled it up
next to the disabled truck, led her
on and lowered it down,” Neary
said.
She put the paint on her trail-
er for safety while they worked
on the other horses.
More than two dozen others,
shocked, injured and dead were
inside. A veterinarian at the scene
had to euthanize three horses
because of their injuries. Neary
said they were unable to untangle
the dead and living horses safely
so rescuers had to tow the whole
trailer back to the stockyard.
“I get choked up talking
about it,” said Neary. “I gave
every horse a name and said a
prayer for them. What else could
I do?”
The living horses were
then hauled to Rotz’s farm in
Shippensburg, PA to await their
final trip—to a slaughterhouse in
Canada.
Horses Survive
Horrific Wreck
(Continued on page 11)
Trainer:
Kristina Sprenkle
717-309-6036
Stoney Ridge Farm, LLC
Hunters
Jumpers
Equitation
Training, Lessons & Full Care Board
190 x 90 INDOOR arena with dust free footing
100 x 200 OUTDOOR arena
Individual pasture turnout
Located in southern York, PA
Attends A, AA and B shows
5868 Glatfelter’s Station Rd, Seven Valleys, PA 17360
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